To gain a better understanding of the processes that sewage undergoes before discharge, area legislators recently toured the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero, Ill.
Representatives Kelly Burke, Lisa Hernandez, Chuck Krezwick, Karen May, Pam Roth, Darlene Senger, Cynthia Soto and Senator Carol Pankau visited the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago’s (MWRD’s) control room, pump and blower rooms, and surveyed the settling tanks before embarking on a tour along the Sanitary and Ship Canal.
The Stickney Water Reclamation Plant is the largest wastewater treatment facility in the world and has the capacity to process 1.4 billion gallons per day, 365 days per year. In comparison, the average daily flow in all other Illinois plants is one million gallons of wastewater per day, or the same amount the Stickney WRP processes in a minute.
Stickney WRP serves 2.38 million people in a 260 square mile area including Chicago and 43 suburban communities. Stickney consists of two plants; the west side portion of the plant was placed into service in 1930 and the southwest portion of the plant was placed into service in 1939.
“It is truly remarkable to see the magnitude of the equipment, buildings and property that is needed to treat the sewage of millions of people, “said Rep. Hernandez. “I have a much better appreciation for the MWRD and the work that it does.”
In 1889, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the MWRD for the purpose of water resource preservation and protecting Lake Michigan, the source of the area’s drinking water supply. The legislature later granted MWRD the authority to manage stormwater for Cook County in 2004.
Over 1,000 individuals, groups and organizations tour the Stickney WRP each year. To schedule a tour, visit www.mwrd.org or call the Office of Public Affairs at (312) 751-6633.
Our water environment…Take it personally.